Beit Iba, Jit, Thu 7.8.08, Morning
07:20 Qalqiliya checkpoint totally empty.
07:40 No staff at Jit
07:50 On our arrival at Beit Iba, a bus at the checkpoint, the passengers being checked inside the bus. A little traffic in both directions. Pedestrians are checked reasonably swiftly. Women in the direction towards Nablus are checked only when there is no queue. We notice one detainee sitting and waiting – he appears in the list of ID numbers.
There are many soldiers and a sense of tension. A woman soldier introduces herself as commander of the military police of the checkpoint and claims that a new order issued yesterday forbids us to be in the area of the checkpoint. When Biriya asks to see this in writing, she becomes confused, argues a bit and leaves us.
Almost no cars. The line of pedestrians entering Nablus lengthens, mainly students. Two soldiers check them.
The tension among the soldiers increases. They look worried and have many phone-calls. Gradually we understand that there is another detainee in the closed building. The soldiers and DCO personnel avoid answering our questions.
A dog handler checks vehicles.
08:45 The checkpoint is entirely empty. The detainees are still held.
08:55 The detainee sitting outside is released. He says he has been held for two hours without knowing why.
09:15 Nadim understands from overheard conversation that the soldiers beat the other detainee who is wounded. A DCO representative says that he had become wild and so the soldiers beat him. They do not give us details of why he was detained or of his condition, but this new information explains the suspicious and panicky behavior on the part of the soldiers. We informed Kim of the Moked, who said she already knew of the case and was dealing with it (we do not know who reported it to her).
09:30 Tami C. was informed and contacted Hannah in Jerusalem. The DCO informed us that a doctor was arriving to examine the detainee.
09:40 The detainee is brought out of the building and sits handcuffed outside, surrounded by soldiers. The (same) woman soldier sees us watching and once again begins shouting at us to leave. Another soldier calms her.
About ten soldiers of various ranks are with the detainee. They remove his handcuffs.
A paramedic examines him and we are told that the battalion commander is investigating the incident.
09:55 The detainee is released. Zachariah, who happens by chance to be passing, says he will wait to talk to the detainee to find out what had happened (in the direction of Nablus).
We leave the checkpoint – and immediately see the soldiers crowding around a group of ‘blue-white’ women…